Story Pitch: North Lawndale Pastor Brings Back Block Party, Builds Community

Real Chi You will be doing a profile piece on Pastor Fred L. Johnson, of Mt. Mariah #2 Missionary Church. RCY choose to tell the story about a man that devoted his life to helping others and bettering Chicago communities.“In criminal justice, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars in interventions, but often we don’t know what really works,”(SSA’s Helen Ross Professor). Block parties are very similar to violence prevention programs. This is a season where the community comes together to do positive activities for the youth in the community.  The 4000 west block of Harrison hasn’t had a block club party or back-to-school kick off since 1968, according to residents. In 2013 Pastor Johnson decided to personally fund the block club party with the help of the church and its community. RCY is telling this because its counteracts the views of how South and West sides Chicagoans do not support help their community. Furthermore, Jens Ludwig, co-director, University of Chicago Crime Lab suggests that“what we are striving for is that in 10 or 20 years crime policy will be different – more effective, cost-effective and humane – because of the large-scale scientific research projects that we’ve done” (Jens Ludwig). Real Chi Youth is targeting the North Lawndale community to inform them upon the goods in their community. We are interviewing Pastor Johnson and people who’s lives he has impacted.

By KC Walker, Preston Robinson, Cyntia Herron and Essence Green

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